Dan Monson just wants his team to pick up where it left off when the Big Ten tournament starts this week.
Minnesota was the most improved team in the Big Ten this season. Expected to finish at or near the bottom of the conference, Monson knitted together a group of transfers and veterans and turned them into a 20-9 team.
Not only did the Gophers handle their non-conference opponents, they rolled to a 10-6 season in the conference. Pretty good for a team that finished 3-13 the year before.
With the conference tournament at hand, the Gophers were able to rest the final weekend of the season since they had closed the regular season with a March 2 win over Penn State. The Gophers will take on Indiana in the first round, a team that also finished with a 10-6 conference record.
While most Big Ten insiders believe both the Gophers and the Hoosiers should make the NCAA tournament, Indiana struggled with a very tough non-conference record and doesn't have the overall record (15-13) that the Gophers do. Indiana could have even more inspiration than Minnesota.
As a result, Monson has been trying to sharpen his team to get them ready for the Hoosiers. "We have to really improve this week to move and not stay where we are," Monson said. "And not be happy with where we are.
"Between having days off and going into the postseason, which the Big Ten tournament is, I'd be very surprised if we don't have a lot of energy."
This game could come down to a matter of defense. The Gophers allow 63.1 ppg while the Hoosiers give up 63.5.
Gophers vs. Hoosiers Looks Even
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